May 21, 2017
The Commencement Ceremony is divided into two phases. Phase I is the University-wide ceremony in which all schools participate. It includes the academic procession, the awarding of honorary degrees, recognition of faculty emeriti, recognition of degree candidates by school, and the all-university Commencement address. The Phase I ceremony begins at 9 a.m. on the lawn of the main quad between Ballou Hall and Bendetson Hall on the Medford campus and typically lasts for 90 minutes.
Phase II of Commencement at Tufts consists of the presentation of diplomas to individual graduates and special activities for the various schools and departments. The Medical/Sackler School specific ceremony (MD Degree, PhD Degree and the Sackler Master's Degree) will begin at approximately 11:30 a.m. in the Gantcher Family Sports and Convocation Center. The Gantcher Center is located at 161 College Avenue, and is about a ten minute walk from the Phase I ceremony. The Medical/Sackler ceremony will conclude at approximately 2:00 p.m. The Medical School also holds a separate ceremony for Master's Degree graduates (MPH, MS - Biomedical Sciences, MS - Health Communication, MS - Pain Research, Education and Policy).
The weather in May is sometimes unpredictable and we encourage guests to dress accordingly. The Phase I University-wide ceremony is held outdoors. The Phase II Medical/Sackler ceremony takes place in an indoor facility without air conditioning. If you will be attending both the Phase I and the Phase II ceremonies, we encourage you to wear comfortable shoes because you will descend the Tufts Memorial Steps which are steep, and then continue down College Avenue to the Gantcher Center.
Seating for the Phase I and Phase II Ceremonies
The Phase I and II ceremonies do not offer reserve seating. However, the Gantcher Center provides ample seating for the Medical/Sackler graduates and their guests. The doors to the Gantcher Center will open at 10:00 a.m.
Parking on Commencement Day will be available in all university parking areas. (Campus map) Parking facilities will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The university is located in a residential neighborhood and street parking is extremely limited. You should allow yourself extra time to secure parking since there will be significant traffic on the Medford campus that morning. We recommend that you carpool if possible.
Some guests have found it to be more convenient to use a taxi service or public transportation. A University shuttle will be making regular trips from the Davis Square - Red Line MBTA station to the main campus and the Gantcher Center (at the Elliot-Pearson turn-around). More information regarding the shuttle service is available here.